Archive for March, 2016

— Vidyadhar Date (datebandra[at]yahoo.com)

Friedrich Engels, and later evolutionary biologists such as Daniel Lieberman, pointed out that labour, walking, and running over long distances fuelled the evolution of our brain and made it bigger. Present-day capitalist society, by contrast, is epitomised by the act of sitting in a car.

I focus on the motor car because it is at the very heart of capitalism. It is one of the largest industries and an important source of capitalist accumulation. At the same time, it has completely distorted our lives and environment. The car has facilitated colonization of land and gentrification; it has hit working class culture; and it has rendered more complicated the task of urban democratic struggle.

The common human being is constantly humiliated, honked at, blasted with fumes, marginalized, dominated and even killed by the car. The street has become a most undemocratic space. (more…)

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On International Working Women’s Day (March 8)

By  Niloufer Bhagwat (email: nilouferin1[at]gmail.com)

The following is a slightly revised version of an address to the 18th Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, which took place in April 2014. Since that time, the Narendra Modi government has taken office in India, and all the regressive trends mentioned in this paper have intensified.

The reality today
The explicit political struggle for women’s human rights has been waged for more than a century and a half. In 1848, a conference of women at Seneca Falls in New York announced a ‘Declaration of Sentiments, Grievances and Resolutions’, pronouncing: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men and women are created equal”. The 1917 Russian Revolution, national liberation movements of Asia, Africa and the Americas, the 1949 revolution in China, were all path-breaking for humanity, and within that for women, too.

(more…)

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